LAUGH

Laugh, when your feet is aching
When your heart is breaking
When life storms seems to make your faith shaken.

Laugh, deeper than your pain
Louder than your fears
Laugh for he has taken your cares
and his joy is yours to gain.

Laugh, smile, jump and dance
Spare not these worries a second glance.
Laugh for your strife was won by his stripes
Laugh and let victory be forever your stance.

Laugh…

Brown da poet
© 2019

Your pride

I searched her face for a sign: something, anything to convince me about the Principal’s statement a few seconds ago but there was none. I couldn’t feel my legs anymore as I dropped back into my seat and Mrs. Hakeem rushed for me.

When I got a call from the office of the Principal through his Personal Assistant stating that I was needed urgently, a lot of thoughts fled through my mind. I had just returned from lunch at the office when the call came in. I didn’t know what to think. Was Simisola sick? Did she have an accident? Did her father show up –as he had been threatening he would—at her school? It just didn’t cross my mind that Simi, my only child would be involved in bullying of any sort. So I was amazed when the Principal said, “your daughter flogged a child into coma.”

As soon as the call had dropped, I picked my purse and keys, locked my office and left the building in a haste. I only remembered on my way out to call Mr. John, a colleague, and ask him to tell anyone who asked that I was called at my daughter’s school.

The drive to Simi’s school that afternoon was filled with mixed feelings. Unlike the normal excitement and ecstasy I felt when going on the usual monthly visits, I was filled this time with fear and rage. What had happened to her? I feared. “Oh, is it that man, her uncaring father who had come to take her? I raged. Whatever it was, I would soon find out.

I hurriedly pulled over at the Visitors’ park and didn’t notice the windows were still wound down. The security tried to call my attention but I ignored him. It was Harmattan and there could possibly be no rains. The dry winds blew harshly on my face and on my thoughts. I was almost sure by now that it was her Dad, he had come for her.

As I walked to the Principal’s office, I met a few members of the staff. We exchanged greetings. Their faces wore expressions of sympathy and shame. My heart got heavier. I didn’t have an idea what the problem was, so I hastened my steps. In the office, even as the Principal tried exchanging pleasantries, I remained worried. I wanted him to spill the beans as soon as he could. It was until he asked that Simi and the house mistress, Mrs. Hakeem be called in that I began to think, it may not be her Dad after all. Yet I still knew it was a serious matter. I began praying inaudibly.

In a few minutes, Simi came in with head bowed, shoulders slouched and fists clenched in front of her. Mrs. Hakeem walked in, after her. It was then that the Principal started talking about why I was called. He started by saying that Simi had been a good girl. I nodded in panic and saw  Mrs. Hakeem nod too. Then, he said that he was disappointed in ‘my daughter’. She had flogged a 13-year old JSS3 student mercilessly. I sprang up before I knew what I did.

While I was still trying to understand where such behavior came from, he made the statement. “your daughter flogged a child into coma.” That was when I slumped back into my seat and began screaming, “Simisola Ogechi Akala has killed me.” “Madam, calm down, calm down Ma.” I heard Mrs Hakeem say as she rushed for me. Her plea wouldn’t console me.

After about thirty minutes, I am sitting in the car with Simi. I parked my car after I drove us a few meters away from the school gate.

“Simisola, what is your problem?” I ask, not looking in her direction.

My cheeks feel cold from the tears dried up by the harmattan wind and my eyes sting: hot and teary. She doesn’t respond. I pick the envelope that the Principal gave me. I didn’t open it then because he already told me its content- a suspension letter- but now, I open it and pull the letter out. I give it to her to read aloud. She does. I barely hear anything she reads because she is muttering the words.

When she is done, I take her face in my palms and look her in the eye. She begins to cry profusely. I let her go and ask her why she did it. She says the junior girl was rude to her and her classmates were looking to know what she would do.

“So it was your pride that put someone in the hospital and I have to foot the bills now. Eh?”

“She was asthmatic.”

“You shouldn’t have beaten anybody!!!”

“I’m sorry mum.” And she bursts into another round of tears.

“You are a child of God, Simi. Even though your dad is far away, which is best for us, you know how your dad…I point to the car roof, behaves. Love is God’s nature. It should be all you do and know. You would have let the junior go and reported her to the house mistress. Your classmates and some other students saw you right?” She nods.

“They would have witnessed for you. Pride is a very stupid emotion to act on. The Bible says God resists the proud and because you know God does not hate anybody, you understand that he hates such character and attitude. Everything done in pride doesn’t give glory to God. Why are we created?”

“For His glory”

“Good! You didn’t give God glory. You acted in the flesh!”

“Mum, I’m sorry.”

“I know. So what do we do?”

With a voice shaken from crying, belching at intervals, she said, “We will go and visit her in the hospital. I will use all my savings. You say what is best for us to buy.”

I hug her tightly, and say a word of prayer in gratitude for God’s word and His work in our lives when we let Him.

Kendra Okpara
©2019

Fear

Today, I am not going to be defining fear
Because definitions differ to people who face it.
Don’t bother searching for the five tips that would help you overcome;
I didn’t think enough to put them here.

I will like to ask;
Why do you fear?
What exactly is it that makes you uncertain even when you dare?
Do they exist or do they not?

You see, oftentimes we’ve treated fear like an illusion.
But how come it hurts us so deeply and leaves marks inscribed to our hearts?
How is it possible that what we can’t see, touch, hear or smell;
Cause a lot of damage and dismay?

Is it fear that makes us tear;
Do we pretend and lace-up hope?
Isn’t it hard to mention faith;
When you feel you may not overcome?

Own it. Live it. Because it’s here.
In this world, it may not breathe but it lives;
It eats and drinks and speaks to you;
‘You are nothing’, it says; ‘you can’t make it’, it whispers.

Just like fiction, it occurs not just in your imagination but from you, when you stutter we can tell;
It acts as the director try to make you play every scene to its taste;
It ridicules you when you try it your own way and fail;
It provides glasses to help you look at the world from its perspective.

Though you may see giants;
Feel powerless, not certain, still doubting;
Although it’s true it makes you feel worthless and no substance of a thing hoped for;
Can polish your faith to make you see any evidence of a thing not seen;
But it’s up to you to take a stand when you want to.
Because in reality, we all face fears
But the ability to face your fears is what makes the difference.

And I close with this;
Yes, your fears exist;
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t
Take a leap of faith to succeed.

Adedatryts
© 2019

So many times

So many times I get my heart disturbed,
Disturbed with vanity with things of this world,
World called earth that isn’t forever,
Forever I keep thinking of the blessings I want to get,
Get lost to pains, frustration, uncertainty,
Certainly wavering in faith neither did I know,
Know that I was gradually broken to pieces closer to ashes,
Ashes of dust back to Genesis,
Genesis creation was in His image and likeness,
Likened unto Him that created thee,
The truth have I forsaken,
For my sake He made it to the cross,
Crossing my heart to His,
His ways should be in my dose,
Dosing daily His pills,
Pills to make me whole again,

Okelola Oladayo Joseph
(C) 2019

Suicide note

Ramatu,

You actually did form a part of my life, and you did so in ways I can’t explain. Only I wish now I had more time to appreciate. But even as I write, there is this looming doom in the horizon and it’s just few hours before the Imam comes with a vest of explosives to dress me up. Life has been most indifferent for me. I know they say it’s not a bed of roses, but I would have preferred a bed of thorns to what I am passing through. My peril describes that of a sinking man who actually thinks he is floating until his back touches the river bed. That’s the sad point I am now, a point of no return.

It all began when I met you. You carried an aura, a semblance of that possessed by Queen Amina. You were queen, an angel or so I thought. I fell in love with you. But ours was not the Western world where you could express your love publicly especially when it was considered ungodly. Religions in Nigeria demand purity and Islam would not be an exception. So even in the midst of our passions, I never got closer than close to you in those early days. You would invite me over to your house on Salah days but I shied away. I remember on one of such occasions you promised your father would be out and only your mum would be in. So I went along with you. We talked, joked, laughed and were only interrupted by your mum’s intermittent calls. That was my very first visit and it seemed pleasant. When you came to see me off, you held my hands for what seemed to me like forever. I felt I was in the presence of Allah. That night as I walked back to school, I felt butterflies dance in my stomach. Our friendship went on and on and we began seeing each other at late hours and odd places. I loved it but usually wondered what kind of father you had that was never at home to monitor your movements. Each time I enquired about him, you answered, “He has gone to the mosque”. He must be a devoted one I thought. Whenever you came to visit me, you would wear one of your big hijabs. When we wanted to kiss or do our thing, I would hide under the hijab. No one ever noticed, probably because romance under the hijab was the norm then. This went on and on until one day you said you would like me to meet your father. He was a politician and was well known throughout the state. We arranged for a Friday after mosque for me to meet him.

Alhaji Usman as he was called was not a man who spoke much. So that Friday when he met me in his house, he only asked my name and whether I’d been to the mosque at all. When I told him I had, he only smiled and went into his room. You were proud I’d met your father and even spoken with him. Your mother served freshly made Kunu and Masa but I didn’t join them. I was shy. That was my second visit and what would be the last.

One evening I returned to the room and met a note. I looked at Abdul and he jabbered “your girlfriend brought it.” I carefully opened it. You wrote, “My father wants to see you”. Fear seized me. Had he found out my sins with his daughter? I’d be finished. The next sentence read, “He said you should meet him at the mosque unfailingly this night, any time this night. Love you…” What could he possibly want from me? We had only met once. And why did he choose the mosque of all places? And he said any time at night, was he going to sleep there? I looked at my watch and it was already past seven. I decided to go straight away.

Alhaji Usman sat beside the Imam in a circle of eight men. One of them was dressed in army uniform. I could recognize the silhouette of one other person, Shehu. Shehu was one of the most notorious students in school, a strong advocate of Islam. What was he doing among noble men? I wondered. I drew a mat from the shelf and sat on it waiting for Alhaji Usman to be through. I could hear faintly their voices. It looked like they were agitating over something. The discussion went on for about forty minutes before they prayed and dispersed. I felt like asking Shehu to wait for me so we would walk back to school together but I had no idea how long Alhaji Usman intended keeping me. As the others walked out, I saw Alhaji discussing privately with the Imam and afterwards started walking towards my direction. I could perceive his Tulare fill the air, the scent of a noble lover of Allah. I imagined that it was bought from Mecca. As he approached, I quickly squatted well and bowed in respect. I received his outstretched arm and stood up. He did not look like he was mad at me for anything. His very first statement made me relax. “I knew you’d come”, he said. “Right from the very first day I met you at the house, I knew you were the special kind. But as you can see, you have come late and we possibly can do nothing today.” I saw the Imam approaching. He whispered something to Alhaji and then left. Alhaji Usman continued, “Please come a little earlier tomorrow.” He hurried after the Imam till they both disappeared into the inner room.

That night as I walked back to school, I wondered what Alhaji wanted from me. I thought about the man in military uniform, the agitation, the fierceness of the few faces I saw. What was wrong?

The next morning had a series of unusual happenings. The hostel tap had been damaged by nobody. Ali, the hostel chef, master in noodles and eggs did not open and most unusual of all, Abdul had left the room before me. I left my room to look for water in the next hostel. There I found Shehu addressing a group of students. I pretended not seeing him and quickly took the next turn towards the tap.

It was a light day and I returned to the hostels earlier. I and Abdul played the game of chess for a while and then I slept off. I woke up some minutes to seven and made straight for the mosque. They were already seated in the usual manner and the Imam was addressing them. He stopped when he saw me, motioned me to sit down and then continued. “Jihad is the holy struggle against good and evil. It is the fight against infidelity and the infidel. The opportunity the almighty Allah has given each of us to prove our fidelity. You are instructed to slit the throats of the infidel when you see him. How would you feel when you stand at the gate of heaven and Allah asks you, “what did you do with the one weapon I gave you, your body?” Will you display the wounds of martyrdom or will you bow your head in shame only to be thrown into the fires of hell?” As he spoke, I felt the tension, hearts beating, fists tightening, faces sulking. He sat down and then shortly after, the man in uniform who then was whispering to Alhaji stood to address us. He shouted, “Allah ku bar”. We responded “Allahu Akbar”. He did these three times and we responded and each time the tempo rose above the previous.

The meeting dispersed at about 8:03pm. Alhaji Usman walked up to me, his face so serious. He told me to follow him. I went with him into the inner room. There the Imam was sitting with three other mujahideen round what I observed was the blueprint of a building, a church building to be precise. He beckoned me to draw closer. I watched as all five men discussed. They studied the blueprint over and over again. Then it became clear to me. They were planning on blowing up the building. I became more scared when I heard the Imam say, “Sunday would be the best.” I looked at the name at the bottom of the drawing. It seemed familiar. “Was that not a church, wouldn’t there be people in there on Sunday?” I thought. By now, their intentions were no more hidden to me. This was war, and I was right in the middle of it, part of the plan so to say. Alhaji Usman told me we would be sleeping over at the mosque that night. I could not hesitate. After all it was already past ten.

The next morning at about 3:15am, I was awoken by the Imam. Alhaji had gone home and I was to make a journey with the Imam and the mujahideen to Suleja. The Imam drove the bus, I sat beside him. At the back were the mujahideen and one other face I could not recognize in the dark and more so because it was masked with a a cloth made from a talisman. At such, only those of us in the car were aware of a fifth traveller. The talisman would protect him from all unwanted eyes. Due to several other delays and visits paid to prominent politicians on our way, we arrived at Suleja around 4pm in the evening and that was when I realised that the unknown face I had travelled with all these while was Shehu. We were welcomed by five men who took us into a room lit by only two torch lights. There Shehu was separated from us into an inner room where only the Imam could enter. I was left with the mujahideen. They watched me closely and hardly said any word neither to me nor to each other. Later we were served kunun gyada and a cupful was taken into the room where Shehu was. After some time, it was returned untouched. I guessed he had refused to drink. The mujahid closest to me looked at me and said “He should be happy that Allah saw him worthy for this one” referring to Shehu.

The next morning, the 10th of July 2011, we left the house where we had passed the night. The Imam drove us again through a narrow path and packed some distance away from a building. He then whispered something to Shehu who was in front with him. Shehu was unusually big that morning. He alighted and walked down to us and said in Hausa, “Brothers, the time has come. May Allah be praised.” He looked straight at me and said “Carry on.” He then made for the building while the Imam drove away. Some time elapsed then we heard a blast, then screams, then noise, then silence. I bowed my head in utter shame, a murderer. The Imam said, “We head back home” then smiled and never said anything throughout the rest of our journey. Satisfied that the mission was accomplished, he sped off. The next morning I woke up still in the mosque and saw the Imam listening to the news from his radio. I heard them talk about the blast from a church at Suleja after which the presenter announced that the University had closed down its campus till further notice citing security concerns. The Imam had made it clear to me that having come thus far with them; I would not be allowed to turn my back anymore. Any attempts to do so would be interpreted as treason and infidelity. I needed not be told what would become of an infidel. I could not run away to my elder sister Aisha. She and her husband saw no use in me. And besides, they would not in any way help me. So later in the day, I went with the Imam to pick the few things I thought I might need.

Days rolled by and we went from place to place doing the one very thing. On 25th August that same year, we arrived at Abuja. There I met with several other disciples like myself. We were not allowed to interact with one another. Three people were selected for this one and they were transported to the venue in a similar bus with the one we came with. There the car for the operation would be waiting for them.

With each passing day, my interest for school diminished and I got more at home with my present life accepting my predicament as the will of Allah. I had not seen you for months now but would not dare ask your father. Even the few times he spoke to me, he only congratulated me for accepting the will of god. “Many youths” he would say, “will never be as courageous as you my son.” But I never stopped thinking about you. I never cared about the fact that it was him, your father who got me into all this. The more we travelled, the more I lost contact with you. It was clear to me now that you would have given all sorts of explanations to why I left and left you in the dark. But I loved you all these while. Time would fail me to express much love as I would have loved to for I must let you know the truth.

We visited Damaturu after our attack at Abuja. It was there that I came face to face with the one who would enchant me and declare me trusted. The initiation process was very brief but full of incantations. He told me I was hence forth worthy to meet Allah at any time I chose to, provided I chose the right cause. I had become a mujahid. At the completion of the Damaturu attack, I was told I would be taken away for training. I will spare you the details of my training because they are not good for a lady’s ears, especially one who has love for the trainee. While we were away, news reached us from Nigeria that eleven of our brothers had been killed by the Nigerian army. There was need for immediate deployment. So I returned home on the 30th of January, 2012 along with other brothers of mine.

Back in Maiduguri, I was reunited with my old family; the Imam and the earlier three mujahideen. We were all glad to see each other. It was there I got to learn of the next point of target. Musa, the eldest of the three mujahideen told me that his time had come. That finally, he would go to claim his seven virgins at the house of Allah. He was the chosen one. The Imam handed over to me a blueprint tagged “Army Headquarters Kd.” I was literally lost for words. The thought of raiding an army headquarter was just something I did not want to think about. Not that I was afraid but I felt, we were biting more than we could chew. Nevertheless, I reserved my feelings to myself. Letting out such discouraging feelings to the rest of the family would be counted infidelity. And for a young mujahid who had risen to high ranks in no time, I would dare not try that. We set off for Kaduna on February 6, 2012. It turned out to be a well accomplished mission. Two brothers well known to me now gone; first it was Shehu at Suleja now Musa in Kaduna. My time, I knew was coming.

Something tragic happened on the 31st of May. I and the Imam had gone to buy food when we received news that there was an on-going attack around home. For us home was far away from where the ordinary people thought it was and when “they” raided a small gathering of our brothers, they went to report to the media that they had looted our hide outs. Five of our brothers alongside an infidel who was kept in our custody were killed. It was another loss. We were visited at night by Alhaji Usman who assured us that only the will of Allah could be done, and only what he permits. The whole camp was filled with pressure. If “they” could get as close to the gathering of the five brothers then it meant they were closing in on us. The next morning, the three of us along with other prominent mujahideen sat down to plan what the Imam called “a series of jihads”. Two of our brothers were sent to Bauchi to carry out what we all agreed to be called “a friendly attack.” Friendly in the sense that not much damage would be caused but only to create awareness that we were still around. People argued and argued that whatever was worth doing was worth doing well. So if there was going to be any strike at all, there should be a proper one. Nevertheless, Bauchi’s mission was successful.

The next places of duty were Kaduna and Plateau. Some of our troops headed to Plateau while myself and the Imam headed for Kaduna along other brothers. We stayed there and planned fervently, a triad hit.

On the night of 16th June, I was summoned by the Imam. He looked at me very sadly and rubbed my head. I felt his rigid coarse palms on my newly shaved skull. Then he stroked my beards and asked in the calmest voice possible “has Allah not been good to you son?” I muttered a solemn but hazy “he has”, fully aware of what I felt was coming yet scared of the sudden reality. Then he looked down and said “go, prepare yourself. Your hour is come.” I left him not knowing how I felt.

Back in my room, I did not say the usual prayer that was the custom before going on divine duty. I picked my pen and pad and began. I had to write you because it was necessary. Each one of those moments I spent with the group, I spent for you with the hope that at the end of it all, I might have no difficulty asking for your hand in marriage having proven strong to your father but….here is where I end. All I have left are the scattered shots of the times we shared together, in memory. I hope I don’t misplace them on my way to heaven. It should suffice me to say that throughout my stay with the Imam, I failed to accept the correlation between the holy jihad and the struggle against western education. Please let the world know I did not die fighting against Western education. I died trying to please your father, for you. Mine is a different story altogether. Please kindly extend my last remarks to Abdul my roommate and tell him not to travel home to Mubi, at least not in the first week of October. I love you Ramat.

Sadiq.

Steven Kator Iorfa
©2019

Doubts, Me and God.

When I first faced doubts about God’s love for me, I was thirteen years old. I would love that you read to the end.

Experience has taught me how natural doubts are. They never mean that you are not a child of God. They only show that you are living in the physical too because, really, we are living in two worlds simultaneously, the spiritual and the physical so while we live in a world that is intangible, we also live in a world that our five senses interact with. Tangible. Point is, I am a child of God and I doubted.

I didn’t lose a loved one to doubt God’s love for me. I did lose but I’d already started doubting before then. I made prayers and didn’t see the answers. I tried to convince myself that God had a better answer because I was told that God usually had three answers, it was either a ‘Yes’, a ‘No’ or ‘Wait/Not now’.

Well, wasn’t God just unpredictable? I remember back then, I’d go to a church meeting and see other people fall under the “anointing” and think to myself, “What about me?” When prophecies came for people, I’d pray and hope that I would at least receive mine. I doubt I still need to say I didn’t. This was all before I lost a cousin to cancer. I’d watched my mum develop high blood pressure while she spent all her money treating my cousin with both ‘white’ and ‘black’ medicine before she passed on and everyone said “Let the will of God be done”. So I doubted.

One day at school, the principal said, “God will punish everyone that steals” annoI just felt, well, they deserve it. Truth is, you might find a lot of people say God punishes people but He loves them. This would have been fine if they said it with the plain reason the writer of the Hebrews had when he said, “The Lord chastens the son He loves” but no, They believe once you lose your job, it would be for something wrong (in the sight of God) you have done or you fall ill and people start asking, “Have you asked God for forgiveness?” “Have you really reflected on what could have led to this?” Oh. No one’s ever asked you that? But I bet one day, it seemed  like you woke on the wrong side of the bed and you started asking, “What have I done wrong?” Done wrong to who? And getting punished by who? 

So deep seated in our consciousness is the idea that God is holy and will therefore do whatever is “just” and “right” as He deems fit, no matter how evil it is. And no. We don’t like to call anything something as ‘killing’ evil if we “know” God to be the doer. We say things like, “Maybe God just took his daughter to test his love for Him. Weren’t those assumptions? Plus when did the value of evil change depending on who does it? There were doubts.

But Apostle James said God does no evil. He said by the Holy Ghost that God is not tempted of evil neither does He tempt any man that way. God said we should not kill or steal and infact, the ten commandments are written in one line. Love. He would not do contrary because He is love and He is unchanging. The fruits of the Spirit do not include killing or anger or even jealousy. Why even did Jesus say “Be like your Father who causes His sun to shine on both the just and the ungodly?” and why did Apostle Paul say in Ephesians 5 that we should be imitators of God by walking in love if all this  doesn’t show that God has just one disposition? Love! I didn’t know and so I doubted.

I can say my doubts were dispelled completely as I learnt from the writer of Hebrews that Jesus is the image of God, the full representation of who God is and I gleaned from the prophecy of Jeremiah (31:34) that we will all know God and the stability of His character when we understand how He forgives. How does He forgive? 

Jesus Christ, when He was asked how many times forgiveness is required, gave a brief reply heavily laddened with meaning. Seventy times seven. He was saying “Behave like God”, ” Forgive uncountably”, “Do not bear the number in mind”, “Forgive ahead of time”.

Same way Apostle Paul revealed in Corinthians that In Christ, God reconciled men to Himself and everyone who believed (in Christ) was a new creature whose sins were not being put against him. The Holy Ghost was teaching through the apostle that we receive forgiveness as a gift and that you were forgiven before you even faltered. What were those things that made me doubt again? What are those things that make you wonder, ‘Oh where is God? Why does He seem to be like this?

Well, Jesus, the image of God healed and if He healed, it means God doesn’t put illnesses in people or “permit” them. We live in a world whose system is dead. If Jesus cast out devils, He was opening our eye to say, ‘See! You did nothing to deserve this. God is not in it!” How about when He calmed the storm? He was saying, “God’s hand isn’t in these natural disasters” Don’t you love God? It was personally a relief to me to know that the enemy, subtle thief as he is was the complete evil. It unburdened me to know God is always for His creation.

Even as I read the popular John 3:16, I learnt that God’s love is seen in the fact that He gave Christ(His son) to die and take our place in judgement so that we are declared innocent. Apostle Paul supported the truth by again declaring in Romans that Christ showed His love for us by dying not for a good or righteous-in-themselves humanity but for a world of sinners and in Ephesians, he buttressed his point saying that God’s show of love supersedes all that we can imagine or hope for because He blessed us with all good things in God (spiritual blessings), made us partakers of the divine nature and given us authority by seating us with Him. Ah!

I tell you! I doubted no more!

I’ve been through the valley of doubt but have learnt that, in that valley is where the enemy wants to have us all. In the pit of fear. I’ve learned by gazing on the love of Christ that I can put faith in the God who is good and true. I can put faith in the God who loves because it is His nature, not based on my doings and appearances. I have learnt much more that God’s love for me is primarily seen in the eternal life in His son(1Jn 5:11-13) and the gift of no condemnation(Rom.8:1) all my possession because I received His spirit on believing(Eph 1:13), not necessarily in good grades or income flow or working inter-personal relationships because they are controlled by men. 

All the while, it hadn’t been God. It was me. My mind being tilled by the enemy. I now not only receive edification, prophecies or healings but I also give by the Spirit at work in every believer because I have learnt that faith in His name and acting on what the word says is all the victory I need ‘coz there is no limit to what God can do through the willing. 

I renewed my mind in the word and began to know God. Light came and dispelled darkness. Love came and chased fear. Faith came and doubts were gone. I have learnt to take my stand with God’s word. You should.

by Buzhoo (2019)

BOOK REVIEW: NORTH by BUSAYO KEHINDE

Reviewer: Ubamara Ezenobi.

Life happens to everyone. It’s inevitable. The things that you never imagine would ever happen to you could take place in the blink of an eye. You could become a person you never imagined you would be in the space of a few days. In these times we are thrown off balance, left to decide who or what to hold onto as anchor. In this book, North, Busayo Kehinde tells us in the best way possible, the best direction to follow.

North is the story of a young woman, Laura, who goes through much distress in life despite her love for God. First, she loses her younger brother to leukaemia. Next is her dad who walks out on them. And then, as though she has not lost enough, she loses her fiancé who loved God so much, to a lifestyle of drugs and women. Eventually, he dies. These tragedies turn her south, and she decides she doesn’t believe in God anymore.

Busola helps us realize that it’s not really about the many challenges you face, but about what you choose at the end of the day: life, or not. By placing special characters like little Ire who battles with sickle cell anaemia yet has unwavering faith in God, and other people who constantly remind her of God’s love, especially for her, the author shows us that God knows us inside out, and knows how best to proceed with healing us, and blessing us beyond our wildest dreams.

For Busola Kehinde, North is the direction that leads us above, and to choose north, is to choose life. In the epilogue, she shares from her personal experience how she has had to choose north at different points in her life, just like her key character. She enjoins us to choose life, to keep choosing life no matter what, and to never lose trust in God.

North is a book to read now. No matter where you are, it’s going to meet you right there and bless you tremendously.

Click HERE to Get the book

© Ubamara Ezenobi, 2019

TOES

The slow walk began with a step
As we tethered on to a certain future

We are uncertain

For we could turn back and still be walking in the same direction
All the love we heard mentioned are but echoes of thunder from the cloudy skies that never rain
We wonder
If the future is a path worth threading
When we barely have enough to mend what’s left of our faith

These shoes hurt on many sides
No one should be allowed to walk in our shoes

I have wondered when the colorful pictures we are painted in would stop being a shadow of itself
Seems the only shade of truth is the color of our reflections

But I’ll walk on in those shoes
No matter how tattered they be worn
This I have sworn
To keep believing past where my eyes can see
Till the day comes
When I’ll walk past my failing faith to belief
I’ll keep patching, tailor my feet on a straight path till I am dead
For an uncertain future is brighter than any certain past I’ve thread.

UcTruth
© 2019